The FEMA 154 Handbook provides a standard rapid visual screening procedure to identify, inventory, and rank buildings that are potentially seismically hazardous. Although RVS is applicable to all buildings, its principal purpose is to identify (1) older buildings designed and constructed before the adoption of adequate seismic design and detailing requirements, (2) buildings on soft or poor soils, or (3) buildings having performance characteristics that negatively influence their seismic response. Once identified as potentially hazardous, such buildings should be further evaluated by a design professional experienced in seismic design to determine if, in fact, they are seismically hazardous.
The RVS uses a methodology based on a “sidewalk survey” of a building and a Data Collection Form, which the person conducting the survey (hereafter referred to as the screener) completes, based on visual observation of the building from the exterior, and if possible, the interior.
Determination of Basic Structural Hazard Score through visual screening, which presents seismic design criteria for individual buildings. The score indicates if buildings should be investigated by a design professional experienced in seismic design.
The rapid visual screening procedure (RVS) has been developed for a broad audience, including building officials and inspectors, and government agency and private-sector building owners (hereinafter, the "RVS authority"), to identify, inventory, and rank buildings that are potentially seismically hazardous.
Buildings and Data Collection Form. The Data Collection Form includes space for documenting building identification information, including its use and size, a photograph of the building, sketches, and documentation of pertinent data related to seismic performance, including the development of a numeric seismic hazard score. Soil data, peak ground velocities and accelerations of the ground.
Designing seismic hazard mitigation programs for a community (or agency)
Ranking a community’s (or agency’s) seismic rehabilitation needs
Developing inventories of buildings for use in regional earthquake damage and loss impact assessments
Developing inventories of buildings for use in planning post earthquake building safety evaluation efforts
Developing building-specific seismic vulnerability information for purposes such as insurance rating, decision making during building ownership transfers, and possible triggering of remodeling requirements during the permitting process.
Skill Requirements for Use
Basic criteria of structures.
The diagnostic indicates if the building has to be investigated by a design professional experienced in seismic design, but it is not possible to know the specific damages if an earthquake occur
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